Wild Dunes weekend offered plenty of beachfront fun and business education
By Brock Huffstutler

Wild Dunes weekend offered plenty of beachfront fun and business education

ARA of North Carolina members escaped to the tropical oasis at Isle of Palms, S.C., on the weekend of Aug. 5-7 for a summer getaway full of beachfront fun and business education.

The event, hosted at Wild Dunes Resort, included beachfront activities like 36 holes of signature golf, paddle boarding, fishing and sparkling outdoor pools. As enjoyable as activities like these were to attendees, the star of the show, as always, was the opportunity to interact in a casual environment with others from the equipment and event rental community.

“We always try to support our local association, and we attended because we like to socialize with our peers and learn from others,” says Ben Cooke, manager, Cooke Rentals, Mount Airy, N.C. “We enjoyed the event, My favorite part was time spent with others and with family.”

Interaction with like-minded industry contacts also was on the mind for Shannon Thomas, CERP, owner, Creative Solutions Special Events, Belmont, N.C., and ARA of North Carolina board chair, who says she was looking forward to the weekend for “the networking and the education. We are all feeling the same situation with business.”

The same goes for Kim Taylor, CERP, CEO, TCS Event Rentals, Burlington, N.C., and ARA of North Carolina president. “The event was nice and allowed for a lot of downtime for personal experiences at the resort. There was also ample opportunities to network with your peers each day. Having some networking time throughout the event, not just one night or one day, allowed you to really speak to everyone who attended,” she says.

The event kicked off on Friday evening with a cocktail reception, followed on Saturday with on-your-own entertainment capped off by a dinner and an education session from Rod Bristol of Profit Soup, who delivered “Blueprint for Growth.” Through his presentation, Bristol detailed the steps to construct a successful profit plan along with actionable financial road-mapping techniques that can be implemented immediately.

“I thought he was good, with some extent points to be aware of and ways to simplify your numbers for moving forward,” says Chris Epps, owner, Charlotte Party Rentals, Charlotte, N.C.

“Rod was engaging and very knowledgeable,” Cooke says. “What I took away from his presentation is to remember to work on your business.”

Thomas also picked up helpful tips from Bristol. “He was great,” she says, adding that the business road-mapping concept that he shared can help business owners “be aware of what is coming.”

The event concluded with a Sunday morning brunch, after which participants said their goodbyes and went back to their businesses refreshed and armed with ideas for being even more proactive in their profit planning.

“I thought it was very nice; I enjoyed the trip out of Charlotte to the coast,” Epps says in summation of the weekend.

Brock Huffstutler

Brock HuffstutlerBrock Huffstutler

Brock Huffstutler is the regional news editor for Rental Management. He writes and edits articles for ARA’s In Your Region quarterly regional newsletters, Rental Management, Rental Pulse and other special projects. Outside of work, he enjoys biking and spending time at the few remaining vintage record stores in the region.

Other articles by Brock Huffstutler
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